Anderlecht sporting director Peter Verbeke has said that new Arsenal signing Albert Sambi Lokonga will have no problems adapting to the Premier League.
The Gunners bolstered their midfield with the 21-year-old’s arrival on Monday. The Belgian has signed for an undisclosed fee and will wear the number 23 shirt. Lokonga will prove a crucial signing, given Arsenal have lost Dani Ceballos and Martin Odegaard. They could also lose Granit Xhaka.
Meanwhile, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta hailed the player’s intelligence and the fact that he has worked with Vincent Kompany.
The former Manchester City defender has become Anderlecht’s coach. However, he is not the only figure at the club who thinks Lokonga can impress in the Premier League.
Club chief Verbeke told Sky Sports News: “Sambi of course is a very good player. He is one of the top talents coming from our academy.
“He can play as a defensive midfield player, he can also play as a box-to-box player. Especially in the last two seasons at the club, he has developed really well.
“Sambi is someone who is good on the ball. His technical ability in tight spaces is really good- Good short and long passing.
“Sambi has been the captain of the club, of a very young Anderlecht of course. He was still a natural captain and leader on and off the pitch, and he is someone that I would say is really open-minded.”
Verbeke added that he believes that Lokonga will have no problems settling into Arsenal.
The Gunners are facing a crucial campaign after finishing ninth in the Premier League last season.
Lokonga backed to impress Arsenal
“I think he will settle in really well in a new club,” Verbeke said.
“Because his technical ability is that good, I don’t think there will be any adaptation problems.
“Of course, the Premier League is a higher level than the Belgian league, but the boys that have been developed at Anderlecht like Youri Tielemans and Romelu Lukaku, I think they settled in well because they got a good education at the Anderlecht academy.
“So, I expect Sambi will do the same thing.”
Lokonga arrived as Arsenal’s second summer signing, after full-back Nuno Tavares signed from Benfica.